11 Shadows that flatter your eyes
If the eyes are the window to the soul, then by golly — they better look their best, right? We sure think so! Play up your peepers and make ‘em really pop with these expert recommended shadows that will accentuate your eye color.
Light brown eyes
To make your eyes look as rich as possible, celebrity makeup artist and glo.minerals national makeup artist Kate McCarthy suggests using a caramel- or bark-colored eyeshadow. "Swipe a little bit across your lid, then use a deep blue or charcoal liner to thicken your lash line and define your eye shape. Your mascara should be either black or brown. Remember: You want to have as much dimension as possible, so in order to achieve that, you should use different tones for each eye ‘step’ (meaning shadow, liner and mascara)," she advises.
Our suggestion: IT Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Eyeshadow Trio in Matte Lux (Ulta, $8)
Dark brown eyes
Purple shadows are the perfect way to play up dark brown eyes! "Instead of doing a classic black smoky eye, try a smoldering purple one and load up on the black mascara," proposes McCarthy. "For a quick day look, swipe a light peach shadow all over your lid. With black eyeliner, line only the water line (your inner lid) and apply brown or black mascara last."
Our suggestion: Mark Jacobs Beauty Style Eye-Con No. 7 in The Tease (Marc Jacobs, $59)
Light blue eyes
Lucky you! Light blue eyes can pull off just about any color, according to McCarthy. "Heavy metals like silver, platinum and steel are always a good go-to. Of course, a classic smoky eye is a must in any blue-eyed beauty’s drawer." You shouldn’t be afraid to rock blue shadows either. “They look great as long as you use them right," she notes. "For example, try an ocean blue as a liner for your lower lash line. Then swipe on a navy blue shadow in your crease, and blend with a lilac or peach color."
Our suggestion: glo.minerals Alloy Eye Collection (Glo Professionals, $44)
Bright blue eyes
Let your eyes seriously shine with copper and bronze shadows! "These colors really bring out the different tones of blue in your eyes and create a nice dimension," explains McCarthy. "Pinks, jewel-toned greens and purples are also great picks to produce an on-trend smoky eye, while jet black shadow and liner will keep your blues icy!"
Our suggestions: Urban Decay Dangerous Palette (Urban Decay, $16)
Light green eyes
Complement your pretty green peepers with gorgeous golds and deep wine colors. "Light gold and mahogany shadows layered with a pale purple work great," points out McCarthy. "A silver and deep gray smoky eye is very complementary for an evening look on light green eyes." For extra drama, why not go wild with a jewel-toned purple or teal smoky eye?
Our suggestion: Laura Geller Beauty Baked Eyeshadow Duo (Nordstrom, $24)
Dark green eyes
McCarthy says light purple is the absolute best color for dark green eyes. "Think lilac, light mauves and muted matte lavenders paired with black eyeliner layered with plum eyeliner. The only thing to avoid when using a purple shadow is the amount of red in the undertone," she warns. "Be sure to choose a bluer-toned purple, as red undertones can make your eyes appear bloodshot and restless. Do stay away from bright, bold colors!"
Our suggestion: Maybelline EyeStudio Eyeshadow Quad in Purple Icon (Drugstore.com, $8)
Hazel eyes are pretty well-rounded, meaning there is a lot you can do with them, says McCarthy. "Metallics look great as long as you keep them on the warm end (think bronze, copper and gold). Pinks and yellows are also ideal, but the pinks should be light. With the yellows, however, you can feel free to go crazy — light gold, bright canary or anywhere in between! Natural tones, like beige, taupe and chocolate browns, with warm undertones (orange or yellow) are flattering as well. Deep olive liner and jet black are nice complements to any shadow color you choose."
Our suggestion: Simply Vera Vera Wang Cosmetics Transforming Shadow Duo (Kohl’s beauty department and counters, $20)
Black (or almost black) eyes
For deep, deep brown, almost-black eyes, black shadows and bright colors work best to balance out the depth, tells McCarthy. "I love a lime/emerald green smoky eye on someone with a deep eye color!" she says. "When using lighter colors or pastels though, steer clear. They tend to disappear and compete with the eye color — you want something just as bold to match!"
Our suggestion: Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference (Beauty.com, $19)
According to Emmy Award-winning celebrity makeup artist Melanie Mills, gray eyes look great with bronze, blue, brown and green shadows. "Blue and green will really bring out the blue and/or green pigments in your eyes and make the gray that much brighter," she says. "Brown, on the other hand, will deepen and intensify gray pigments, and bronze will electrify the color tones."
Our suggestion: Sephora + Pantone Universe Color Theory Shadow Block in Bionic (Sephora.com, $13)
If you were blessed with rare amber eyes, Mills suggests emphasizing them with a contrasting blue color. “Bronze and gold shadows will highlight the yellow undertones in your eyes to give that catlike glow, while black and brown will intensify and deepen ambers," she informs.
Our suggestion: Lancome Color Design 5 Shadow & Liner Palette in Golden Frenzy (Lancome, $49)
Have violet eyes like Elizabeth Taylor’s? Accentuate them with greens, purples, browns and black. "Green is opposite to violet, which will create a contrast and intensify your eyes," notes Mills. Purple eyeshadow will draw out the violets in your peepers and brighten them up as well. "Black and brown bring out the outer ring of color and add drama, making your eyes pop like jewels!"
Our suggestion: Smashbox Photo Op Eye Shadow Trio in Develop (Sephora, $28)